Ascent of Carroll County High Point on 2008-05-09

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Friday, May 9, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Carroll County High Point
    Elevation:1120 ft / 341 m

Ascent Trip Report

As we entered back into Maryland, I noted we’d be passing within a few miles of the Carroll County highpoint, a small hill located in the community of Wentz about five miles north of the city of Manchester. I had not planned to visit this county highpoint on this journey, but I had the map and asked Beth if we could go scout it for a future visit. She was game and provided excellent navigation help with the map while I drove.

Slightly north of Wentz, we continued north on highway MD-30 up a hill, then west onto Harvey Yingling Road, which seemed to get close to the highpoint area. Immediately I saw I might get lucky: past reports described fields of corn or other crops between the road and the highpoint hill, but today, the field was fallow. We drove to a high spot on the road near some nice homes, but far enough away so as not to be in their front yards. The challenge now was the rain and the mud, and the fact I had no shoes yet, just my sandals. We had mailed our beefier hiking shoes and other items to Beth's folks before we left, so I'd have to hike through the mud in my sandals. Beth, using sound judgment, decided to stay in the car and play lookout.

In shorts and sandals, looking like a complete idiot, I walked onto a muddy “road” that seems to separate two fields and at first, I did pretty well. The ground was mostly solid and still covered in clumps of vegetation and corn junk, and as long as I stayed on these clumps I could avoid the worst of the mud. I walked about 300 feet up this road toward a patch of woods, then left along its boundary toward the obvious highpoint area underneath some power lines. The actual highpoint itself is a small hill, covered in natural brambly vegetation. This proved to be tricky. I carefully stepped into this bramble patch and the thick brush, not sure what I would find. The map shows a benchmark, but in my short visit here I didn’t find it, and the rain, mud and brush wasn’t exactly motivating me to stick around longer than I had to. There was also my usual fear of snakes to consider.

After I spent a minute poking around in the bramble-patch, I turned around for the short hike back to the car. Alas, I did not entirely avoid the worst of the mud, and my sandals and feet were covered in said mud. I did my best to clean it off, but the sandals were a goner. We drove into town to a mall so I could get some cheapo shoes to wear. Beth bought some shoes too, mainly because she really likes shoes.

From here we drove on to Beth’s folks place in Millwood, Virginia. The rain stayed steady but lessened as we got into Virginia, but the rivers, the Potomac and the Shenandoah, were swollen and rushing like crazy with all the runoff.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Trailhead:1070 ft / 326 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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